MEDICAL EDUCATION: AAMC Blasts Affirmative Action Bans
California, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas saw a "precipitous" 19% to 22% drop in the number of minority applicants to medical school since the elimination of affirmative action policies in those states two years ago, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges. The declines in the above- mentioned states compare to a 12% drop in the number of minority medical school applications nationwide since 1996. AAMC President Jordan Cohen issued a "wake up call" for states that may be considering anti-affirmative action ballot measures such as Washington state's Initiative 200. The AAMC, "outspoken in its opposition to the elimination of affirmative action in admissions," has raised more than $60,000 to defeat Initiative 200. Cohen said, "The continued drop in minority applicants to medical schools is bad news, especially in those states where the populations are booming not only in sheer numbers but in their diversity as well." He added that the "drop in minority applicants reflects the fact that many young people are being discouraged from even considering a career in medicine because of the anti-affirmative action mood in certain parts of the country." Defending its support for affirmative action in medical school admissions, the AAMC notes that before "the implementation of affirmative action programs in the 1960s, only 2% of medical students" were black, Native American, Mexican American/Chicano or Mainland Puerto Rican (AAMC release, 10/30). Click here to read past CHL coverage of this issue.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.